Sen. Richard H. “Dick” Black
Virginia State Senate, 2012-2020 (retired)
Virginia House of Delegates, 1998-2006
Colonel, U.S. Army Judge Advocate Generals’ Corps (USA Ret.)
Senator Dick Black was a prominent conservative Republican who served eight years in the Virginia State Senate. He represented a quarter million people in Loudoun and Prince William Counties. Black previously served eight years in the Virginia House of Delegates.
He was born near his mother’s farm in Maryland and grew up in Miami, Florida. He and Barbara have been married for 54 years. They have three children and 16 grandchildren.
He enlisted in the Marines in 1963. By age 21, Black became a second lieutenant and was among the Marines’ youngest aircraft carrier-qualified pilots. He flew 269 combat helicopter missions in Vietnam.
Ground fire struck his aircraft on four different occasions.
Black also engaged in bitter ground combat with the 1st Marine Regiment. His radiomen were killed and he was wounded during an attack against enemy positions across the Hoi An River. Black served in small-unit actions where two fellow Marines–PFC Gary Martini and SSgt. Jimmie Howard–won the Medal of Honor. While in office, he was the only member of the Virginia General Assembly who held the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in battle.
After the war, he served as a flight instructor and later attended engineer school. Black graduated second from engineer officers’ class and was made a Company Commander.
He deployed his 240-man unit to Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. There, Captain Black’s Marines rebuilt the island runway. They operated a large rock quarry–drilling, blasting, crushing and trucking aggregate used to pave the airstrip. By then, Captain Black was 25 years old.
Dick left the Marines to attend the University of Florida. There, he was twice elected to the Student Senate. He graduated with honors from the School of Business in 1973 and earned a law degree in 1976. He practiced law in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, before accepting a commission as a Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG).
The Judge Advocate General of the Army appointed Dick to head the legal office at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. While there, he lobbied the Missouri legislature for legislation that curbed drunk driving. As an ex-officio member of the City Council for St. Robert, Missouri, Black led a major crackdown on vice that shut down eight houses of prostitution.
He supervised 40 attorneys at Ft. Lewis, Washington. There, he executed one of the most complex federal land transactions in recent years. He negotiated and developed legislation protecting competing interests of state and federal agencies, environmental groups, ranchers, and the Yakima Indian Nation. His efforts preserved the hunting and fishing rights of the Indian people, and provided for the eventual return of the vast, 63,000-acre tract to them.
Black headed the Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon. He developed Executive Orders for the President’s signature, and laws that were enacted by Congress. He advised senior government officials on issues of national significance. He testified before the U.S. Congress, representing the U.S. Army, on four occasions.
In 1994, Colonel Dick Black retired from military service to become a partner in the law firm of Taylor, Horbaly, and Black. In addition to operating a successful law practice, Dick Black was a frequent media guest who appeared over 30 times on CNN and other national networks discussing foreign and military affairs.
Black has been a member of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, Virginia Society for Human Life, National Federation of Independent Business, Knights of Columbus, Izaak Walton League, NRA, VFW, American Legion, Military Officers Association, and Virginia Right to Life.
He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Virginia. He has held a Top Secret security clearance. His special interests include chemistry, herpetology, foreign and military affairs, construction engineering . . . and his sixteen grandchildren!
Colonel Black was elected to the House of Delegates in February 1998. His awards include the Samuel Adams Award for Leadership in Government, the Brent Society Distinguished Service Award for defending life, marriage and family values, the Project Michael Award for protecting unborn children, and the Lamplighter Award for defending human life.
National Right to Work selected him as Virginia’s top legislator for 2003, an honor usually reserved for U.S. Senators and Representatives. In 2006, he received 100% ratings from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, and the Family Foundation. Both the Family Foundation and the Virginia Association of Chiropractors named Delegate Black Northern Virginia Legislator of the Year. He earned an A+ rating from the NRA. His military awards include the Purple Heart Medal, three Legions of Merit, thirteen Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medal with “V” for valor, two Presidential Unit Citations, the Army General Staff Badge, and Naval Aviators’ Wings of Gold.
Dick Black enacted legislation to build the Rt. 28 Freeway with ten new flyovers. He was among Virginia’s foremost conservative leaders. In 2004, he set the high-water mark for pro-life legislation.
He enacted legislation requiring Parental Consent for minors’ abortions. He was Chief Co-patron of the Ban on Partial Birth Abortion.
He sponsored the Firearms Preemption Act that swept away hundreds of conflicting local ordinances, and restored 2nd Amendment rights to Virginia. He advocated lower taxes and limited government. He opposed special group rights. He supported the original meaning of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, advocated school choice, and was a strong proponent of U.S. sovereignty. He is strongly pro-business and tough on crime.
He has never voted for a single tax. He and Del. Bob Marshall sued and won a unanimous victory in the Virginia Supreme Court, blocking HB 3202 and its 14 new taxes.
Senator Black was elected to serve in the Virginia State Senate on November 8, 2011 and proudly serves the citizens of the 13th District.